'We urge everyone coming to the sale to wear masks' - OBS issues new protocols
1,311 lots have been catalogued for the four-day auction in Florida
Ocala Breeders' Sales (OBS) has adopted a set of biosecurity and health protocols for its upcoming Spring Sale of Two-Year-Olds in Training that include an expansion of the measures in place for the March Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.
There are 1,311 horses scheduled for the June 9-12 auction in Ocala, Florida. The protocols will also apply to the under tack show workouts scheduled daily from May 31-June 6.
"A number of the things we did in March will still be in place," said OBS sales director Tod Wojciechowski. "What we did worked, so we will be doing that plus adding to it.
"A cleaning crew will be going through the facility, wiping down all the common areas. There will people working so people don't have to open the doors. We will be blocking off some of the rows in the auditorium to help with social distancing.
"We strongly urge everyone coming into the sale to wear masks and OBS employees will be wearing masks," Wojciechowski said, adding that masks will be required of media since they will have contact with a large number of people.
Wojciechowski said an effort will be made to limit attendance at the sale to those directly involved with buying and selling.
"We want to restrict it to people who are here to buy and sell horses; we don't want spectators," Wojciechowski said. "We definitely want to protect people the best we can. We will have signage throughout the facility urging everyone to practice social distancing."
The food service ares will be limited to grab and go items with the entire cafeteria area expanded to permit social distancing.
Wojciechowski added that during the under tack show, there will not be a community water chest, some rows will be blocked to distance people, and attendees will be asked to wear masks and practice social distancing when appropriate.
Wojciechowski said the online bidding component that has been added to the sales process could result in reduced numbers of buyers in attendance, although they will be able to participate as if they were on the premises.
"The online bidding component that is available for those people unwilling or unable to travel is a very viable option and we're excited to have it as an option," he said.
"They will be able to watch the sale live and bid on it live. They can control their bidding, not unlike if they were here in person. We will have online registration on the website within the next couple of days and we urge everyone that is considering online bidding to get set up to bid online."
Wojciechowski said online bidders should have no concerns about their bids being accepted in a timely manner.
"One reason we chose the company we did to handle this for us their lack of latency," he said. "They have told us the lag time is around 250 milliseconds. These guys are professionals."
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